As Bonnie J. Rough and her husband consider becoming parents, their biological legacy haunts every decision. Confirmed a carrier of the genetic condition hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia, or HED, Bonnie begins a journey to uncover the complicated details of her family’s past.

At first glance, HED seems only to be a superficial condition: an unusual facial bone structure, sparse hair, few teeth, and an inability to sweat. But a closer look reveals the source of a lifetime of infections, breathing problems, and drug dependency for Bonnie’s grandfather Earl, who suffered from the disorder. After a boyhood as a small-town oddity and an adulthood fraught with disaster, Earl died penniless and alone at the age of forty-nine. Bonnie’s mother was left with an inheritance that included not just the gene for HED, but also the emotional pain that came from witnessing her father’s misery.

In a time when genetic testing offers answers that can lead to excruciating decisions, even forgoing a test is a deliberate choice. Caught between science and the heart, Bonnie and her husband find themselves faced with a modern moral crisis—and one that ultimately reveals the eternal tension between past and future.

See a new author profile on Literary Mama.

Watch Bonnie’s live interview on KOMO TV News.

Hear Bonnie’s most recent radio interviews on Talk of Iowa and The Lit Show.

Listen to Bonnie’s interview with Liane Hansen on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

Read a column about Carrier from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Take in an interview with the author on the Mother Words blog.

Listen to Bonnie on the Good Enough Moms podcast.

Hear a Carrier interview on KAXE’s Real Good Words.

Read a feature about the author and Carrier from The Daily News.

Hear a CARRIER interview with KMSU’s Weekly Reader.

Read a brief interview with the author from Seattle Met magazine.

Check out a self-interview written by the author for The Nervous Breakdown.